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|19th C. Antique Tibetan Monastery Prayer Book Cover. Nicely carved top and end. Traces of gold can be seen.
The 8 Auspicious signs are carved.The Dharma-Wheel (Dharmachakra); it is said that after Siddharta Gautama achieved enlightenment, Brahma came to him, offered a Dharma-Wheel and requested the Buddha to teach. The Victory Banner; symbolises the victory of the Buddha's teachings over death, ignorance, disharmony and all the negativities of this world, and victory over. The roofs of Tibetan monasteries are often decorated with victory banners of different shapes and sizes. The Auspicious or Endless Knot is a geometric diagram which symbolises the nature of reality where everything is interrelated and only exists as part of a web of karma and its effect. Having no beginning or end, it also represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha, and the union of compassion and wisdom.
The Conch, which is also used as a horn, symbolises the deep, far reaching and melodious sound of the teachings, which is suitable for all disciples at it awakens them from the slumber of ignorance to accomplish all beings' welfare. The Lotus is a very important symbol in India and of Buddhism. It refers to the complete purification of body, speech and mind, and the blossoming of wholesome deeds in liberation. The Treasure Vase; is a sign of the inexhaustible riches available in the Buddhist teachings, but also symbolises long life, wealth, prosperity and all the benefits of this world. The Golden Fish; were originally symbolic of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna, but came to represent good fortune in general.
The Umbrella or parasol embodies notions of wealth or royalty, for one had to be rich enough to possess such an item, and further, to have someone carry it. It points to the "royal ease" and power experienced in the Buddhist life of detachment.